STAFF REPORT IBD: The land holding pattern in Pakistan is of highly skewed nature as 58 per cent of the country’s 6.6 million rural landowners have less than five acres of agricultural land, and only three per cent women have their own agricultural land, while, 6 per cent possess 80 per cent of agricultural land. It is evident from this fact that a majority of rural souls serve as peasants or wage workers.
Unless agriculture is brought under formal labour mechanism and agriculture workers are provided social security benefits, problems of agriculture workers will keep haunting them, said agriculture experts.
They said that the very nature of agriculture being informal subsequently has pushed agriculture workers into the quagmire where they do not receive fair wages. They face harassment and lack of access to shelter and dearth of crop insurance.
Lack of land reforms in the country has also resulted in the persistent suppression of agricultural workers at the hands of feudals who entered power echelons and have succeeded in perpetuating their hold on the electoral system.
In order to eliminate intricacies of the agricultural workers, the government needs to revisit its policies based on exclusion and formulate policies which ensure the rights and entitlements of the agricultural workers.